AFTER an adventure guaranteed to have the kids happily exhausted by bedtime? That’s what we got with Scotland’s new Heart 200 driving route in a hired campervan.
Here writer Robin McKelvie takes the high road with his family on an action-packed drive in Scotland
LIVE THE HIGH (LAND) LIFE
The idea behind the Heart 200 is to enjoy a “slow travel” adventure around the heart of Scotland via this scenic 200-mile route.
You’ll visit Perthshire, with a bit of Stirlingshire, and the route links two national parks – the Cairngorms & Loch Lomond and The Trossachs
Thankfully, the route’s website makes planning stop-offs easy, with recommended campsites and hotels if you’re sans campervan (Heart200.scot).
In Edinburgh, we pick up our campervan – complete with two double beds, a shower, TV and kitchen.
Close quarters make family bonding a foregone conclusion as I, my wife Jenny and our kids Tara, 11, and Emma, eight, set off to our first site, Comrie Croft, where a pitch costs from £30 (Comriecroft.com).
There are amazing views over the hills of “Big Tree Country” (as Perthshire is known), and a mountain bike circuit.
So, we jump on bikes, hire from £25, for a free skills lesson, before bangers and marshmallows round the campfire.
BE A WILD CHILD
Perthshire is famous as a white water sports haven, with plenty of opportunities to get on – and in – the water.
We spend the morning gorge-walking with Nae Limits, £45 for adults and £35 for under 12s, before an afternoon flying down the river in a rubber raft, £45 per person (Naelimits.co.uk).
In Perth, Piotr at Outdoor Explore leads us by sea kayak into the city, £140 for a family of four (Outdoorexplore.co.uk), spotting kingfishers on the way.
WALK THIS WAY
Don’t miss The Hermitage in Dunkeld, a National Trust for Scotland forest built as a pleasure ground for the Duke of Atholl.
The kids enjoy scampering among huge firs, and finding a waterfall and 18th-century folly.
If you’re feeling energetic, bag a Munro (climb a mountain, FYI!) along Loch Tay – the views are incredible.
RELIGHT YOUR FIRE
For a treat, we head to Five Senses in Alyth for a day’s bushcrafting, £75 each.
We learn about navigation, foraging and how to conjure up fire from bits of wood – fun for kids and big kids alike (Allfivesenses.com)!
MEET THE MEERKATS
In Aberfeldy, the kids play in the free playground at Highland Safaris, before a Land Rover Safari, £45 for adults, £25 for children, in search of the UK’s largest land mammal – red deer (Highlandsafaris.net).
For animal lovers, Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre is a must, where we get close to meerkats, lemurs and Scottish wildcat, £19.50 for a family of four (Auchingarrich.co.uk).
This is one high road we’ll definitely take again!
Roseisle Luxury Campervans offers a week campervan hire from £595 (Roseisle.com).
Fly to Edinburgh with EasyJet from £55 return (Easyjet.com).
See Visitscotland.com for more information.
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